Where's the on-line scale model magazines?

If you go into a well stocked newsstand you'll find a load of magazines covering the art of plastic model building filled with model reviews, modelling tips, reference articles etc. A feast for the avid plastic model builder. BUT, this is 2016. There is a thin called internet and more and more we use this to get our information. So at this stage I'd expect these Magazines to go digital in order to meet the new market and continue to do business. So I went ahead to search the market to find a good on-line Magazine. I'm quite willing to pay for an on-line subscription for a good product.

My first try went to Fine Scale Modeler a Magazine that I've enjoyed in paper form. Their subscription alternatives still focus on the printed product but they do offer a digital subscription. Now the good thing is that a subscription unlocks kit reviews and "how to" articles on their home page. This good but the on-line magazine is in my view a disaster. First of all, to access the magizine you need a separate login at a site called Zinio which is a site where they offer a wide range of "on-line" magazines. And this is on-line in it's worst form. Basically its just the paper magazine scanned (or, well, the hard format it's printed in) two pages at a time. Is this 2016?

Let me explain my disappointment. Many daily papers today offers on-line subscriptions but then you can access them at their own homepage in a format made for the web. An article is one page. If you want to print it there's formatting that fixes that and for the paper format you like. Done right you can also easily enlarge photographs that you want to study more closely. Easy links in an article could take you to more information or other related articles. I have to admit that at least there is links in their adverts that takes you to the advertisers page. But these are small text links when the whole advert could be a link if it was a web page instead. The web brings you so many more possibilities to build a more dynamic and interactive content than a printed product (or a digitalized copy there of).


OK but Fine Scale Modeler is not the only magazine out there so I had a look at some of the alternatives:

  • Model Airplane International - Offers digital subscriptions at Pocketmags.com, Apples App Store (as an app) and Android (as an app) again digitalized paper magazine.
  • Scale Aviation Modeller International, Scale Military Modeller International and Model Aircraft - Can't find any digital subscription at all.
  • Tamiya Model Magazine International - Have short blog posts availible but subscriptions only at Pocketmags.com, Apples App Store (as an app) and Android (as an app) again digitalized paper magazine.
  • Internet Modeler - Now this sounded promising and in some way it was good. First, it's free and it contains a lot of reviews, "how to", columns and even industry news. This is the best so far. The only drawback is that it's basically structured as blog posts (as this site is) and not a costly designed magazine that you would expect from a paid subscription product.
  • Modeler Site - Again sounds like an internet product but really only a site where you can buy PDF versions of (again) a printed products in article forms. No subscription.
  • Scale Aircraft Modelling - Digital subscription through magzter.com, once again a digitalized version of the printed copy available in apps and on the web.
  • Airfix Model World - Offers digital subscriptions at Pocketmags.com, Apples App Store (as an app) and Android (as an app) again digitalized paper magazine.
  • Scale Modelling Now Magazine - Here's another quite good one. For $15 a year you get access to reviews, "how to" tips, reference photo library and subscriber supplied pictures. For the money it's a good site. Still have a bit to go to a magazine level but content wise its good.
  • Hyper Scale - A site with an ambition to be an on-line modellers magazine but design wise has a long way to go but still contains a big library of pictures and short facts on different models. And it's free.
  • Art Of Modelling - A Belgian publication available in English digital subscription but only in an app on iPad but I could not find their app in App Store. By their web-site it looks as if they've gone beyond a republished paper print though.
  • Scale Model Addict Magazine - When this post was written their magazine web-page had been hacked and was down for repairs so I don't know much how they are.

This is by no means a complete list but it is what I could find with a simple Google-search.

So there are some scale model magazines on-line but most of them are re-published printed magazines and not designed for the web. At this time my vote goes to Scale Modelling Now Magazine for it's contents and reasonable price.


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